Emerging memory market is finding its direction: Page 2 of 3

June 26, 2020 //By Julien Happich
memory market
Emerging memories have been relegated to niches for decades, but that scenario has taken an abrupt turn. Recent market dynamic changes are suddenly opening the door to their widespread use.

New materials need new tools

Many of these emerging memory types require new materials and processes, driving changes to the tool complement in standard CMOS logic fabs. Those changes will create opportunities for capital equipment suppliers. In response to this market change, the report’s forecasts find that emerging memory petabyte shipments will rise faster than other memory technologies (Fig. 1), driving revenues to grow to $36 billion.


1) Standalone memory annual petabyte shipments show solid growth
from 2018-2030. (Source: Objective Analysis & Coughlin Assoc., 2020)

This will occur largely because these emerging memories will take over a share of established markets for today’s mainstream technologies: NOR flash, SRAM, and DRAM. New memories will replace both discrete memory chips and the embedded memories within SoCs: ASICs, microcontrollers, and even the caches in compute processors.

The report explains how 3D XPoint memory revenues will surge to more than $25 billion by 2030, simply because the technology sells for less than the DRAM it displaces. It also explains why discrete MRAM/STT-RAM chip revenues will grow to more than $10 billion, or nearly 300X 2019’s MRAM revenues. In addition, it projects that resistive RAM (ReRAM) and MRAM will compete to replace the bulk of embedded NOR and SRAM in SoCs, fueling even greater revenue growth.

 

Capital spending must increase


2) Total spending for MRAM capital equipment will grow to nearly
$700 million in 2019-2030. (Source: Coughlin Associates).

The semiconductor industry’s conversion to emerging memories will require increased capital equipment spending. The report finds that by 2030, the incremental manufacturing equipment spending required by MRAM is most likely to grow 16X its 2019 total of $44 million to almost $700 million, but it could grow as high as $1.3 billion (Fig. 2).


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